Men’s Insights  

Who are the real underdogs now, men or women?

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What do men feel about about being a man in 2014? We asked two writers, Andrew Don and Anthony Hett, to share their views. Anthony thinks we’ve lost the art of being gentleman, while Andrew thinks men have become society’s underdogs. This is what Andrew has to say…

This is article #12 in our series of #100Voices4Men and boys 

For as long as I can remember I have heard women complaining they lack equality in many spheres of life.

Even today, they complain of lack of boardroom opportunities, that their male counterparts are paid more or that they are not taken seriously in the world of politics – conveniently forgetting Margaret Thatcher.

They complain men stare at their chests in office meetings yet they wear blouses with necklines that plunge to their belly. And they moan they are passed over for promotion.

The truth is that anyone can achieve anything in Britain today if they walk the walk and talk the talk, no matter if they are male, female or several shades in between.

Women and children first

In my opinion, women have a better deal than men. On the Titanic it was “women and children first”. So what did men do wrong to have the right to die first?

Women traditionally have had societal acceptance that they do not have to work and can sponge off hubby while they stay at home all day having fun and playing hide-and-seek with the children.

Men have traditionally had the stress of having to bring home the bacon, carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders – responsible for life and limb of their family. All young women have had to do is get pregnant to cadge a home courtesy of the State and benefits.

Women get the chance to experience a closeness to their children that men can never hope to replicate – the opportunity to have a child growing inside them. Yet, let’s face it, they are cleverer and more dextrous than us. Women can juggle a dozen balls at any one time whereas the only thing we can do a dozen at a time is downing pints.

It’s men who get a raw deal

They have more fashion choices than men, get doors opened for them and collar train seats. All they have to do is flutter their eyelashes and raise their hemline and men are putty.

Alright, I admit it, I am being deliberately provocative, but just think about it.

Remember the days when every other week women complained about sexist adverts. Adverts are still sexist but nowadays towards men. I am sick of TV commercials that patronise and stereotype men as gormless, football mad, beer swilling obsessives.

Men used to be discriminated against because of their perceived strength – given the “privilege” of dying on the battlefield. Women had all the power: hubby may have gone out to work but it was the wife who controlled the purse strings and got to spend the money he killed himself earning.

Now in the workplace, men don’t know where they stand. Women want to be treated like men, yet they’ll turn on the waterworks as soon as a man says boo.

Men and women are emotionally and biologically different. We should celebrate those differences. Whether you are male or female should not limit your opportunities.

In 21st-century Britain, the cult of Woman is on the rise. Men are lost. We have been emasculated. What does it mean to be a man?

—Picture credit:Flickr/JDHancock

Andrew Don is editorial director of Don’s Hard News and author of Fathers Feel, Too, a book about men and child loss and Virtuality, an e-novella. You can follow Andrew on twitter @DonsHardNews.

Follow Andrew Don on Twitter @DonsHardNews

You can find all of the #100Voices4Men articles that will be published in the run up to International Men’s Day 2014 by clicking on this link—#100Voices4Men—and follow the discussion on twitter by searching for #100Voices4Men.

The views expressed in these articles are not the views of insideMAN editorial team. Whether you agree with the views expressed in this article or not we invite you to take take part in this important discussion, our only request is that you express yourself in a way that ensures everyone’s voice can be heard.

You can join the #100Voices4Men discussion by commenting below; by following us on Twitter @insideMANmag and Facebook or by emailing [email protected]

  • Nigel

    Well Andrew you are indeed provocative and rather pessimistic. While I agree men are taken for granted and women still not used to being responsible for themselves there are always moves forwards and backwards. Though at the time of it’s publication , Farrell’s “Myth of Male Power” seemed rather too hippy in retrospect I find it very prescient. In essence( and rather reflected in Anthony’s) men’s roles of service and self sacrifice were rewarded by a social recognition. Now less routinely given I suppose the extravagant praise given to women may appear to diminish men.  The constant complaining is probably a historically temporary thing as women struggle to move from the dependent roles many had to being directly materially responsible for themselves and others . One can understand, from work on Preference Theory by Dr Hakim for instance, that if only a fifth of women are “work oriented” and our society increasingly expects women to work as long and sometimes as many hours as men; well then there will be a lot of complaining, from the four fifths of women who’d rather not! I suppose the prize for men for putting up with this river of whinge is that eventually they”ll find their responsibilities lighter. And who knows live as long etc. 
    I must point out that the bit on “multi tasking” is an urban myth. Which should be reassuring the next time your flying in an airliner! 

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